Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has announced his retirement from the sport to focus on his political career.
The multi-division world champion, who is a senator in his native Philippines, has already announced his intention to run for president in the country’s 2022 elections.
The 42-year-old’s final fight was a defeat by Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas in Las Vegas last month.
“I just heard the final bell. Boxing is over,” said Pacquiao.
In a video posted on social media, Pacquiao described retiring as the “hardest decision” of his life, adding boxing had given him “the chance to fight my way out of poverty” and “the courage to change more lives”.
He also thanked his fans, friends and all those who supported him throughout his career, most notably long-time trainer Freddie Roach, who he described as “my family, a brother and a friend”.
“I will never forget what I have done and accomplished in my life,” he said.
After growing up in poverty in the south of the Philippines, Pacquiao moved to the capital Manila as a teenager to start a boxing career that would make him one of the world’s most highly paid athletes.
He won his first major title in 1998 at the age of 19, defeating Thailand’s Chatchai Sasakul for the WBC flyweight title.
Within three years he was fighting in Las Vegas, beating South Africa’s Lehlohonolo Ledwaba for the IBF super bantamweight title at the MGM Grand, the venue for most of his fights in the following two decades.
He is now regarded as one of the greatest professional boxers of all time, winning 12 different titles across eight weight divisions and is the only boxer to hold world championships across four decades.
In July 2019, Pacquiao became the oldest welterweight world champion in history at the age of 40 when he defeated Keith Thurman to win the WBA (Super) welterweight title, though he was stripped of the title in January 2021 because of inactivity.
Speaking after his defeat to Ugas in August, Pacquiao said he was “60-40” in favour of quitting.
He retires with a record of 62 wins, eight defeats and two draws.
Pacquiao entered politics in 2010 when he won a seat in the lower house of the Philippines congress, before being elected for a six-year term in the upper chamber in 2016.
He confirmed earlier this month his intention to run for president after he was nominated as a candidate by a faction of the ruling party, PDP-Laban.
- 50 people injured after accident involving 4 cars on Kasoa-Weija road
- Agya Koo’s new plush mansion which got social media talking
- Encourage acquisition, mergers of banks and NBFIs if needed – IMF tells government
- Assin North by-election: EC denies NDC’s accusation of inserting candidate’s name in voters register
- Nogokpo saga: Perez Chapel Bishop declares week-long fast over controversy
- June 4 uprising occurred for far less than what is happening in Ghana today – Mahama
- Two police officers injured as ghetto boys escape with handcuffs during arrest at Gomoa Nyanyano
- ‘I can’t believe I am here’ – Tariq Lamptey on his first start at the World Cup for Ghana
- Agotime Ziope DCE attacks NPP’s Dzifa Kaledzi; leaves her with an eye injury
- Assin North by-election: NDC accuses NPP, EC of plotting to insert an unqualified candidate’s name in voters register
- Kwabena Donkor hits back at World Bank Country Director over his claims on PPAs signed under NDC
- Ghana Association of Writers pays tribute to Ama Ata Aidoo
- Ghanaian student shines at George C. Marshall High School Awards in the USA
- There are no record labels in Ghana – Empress Gifty
- Full judgement: Supreme Court’s ruling on Gyakye Quayson
- 2023 AFCONQ: Inaki Williams withdraws from Black Stars squad to face Madagascar
- Davido reveals how he met his wife, Chioma
- Apple expected to launch mixed-reality headset at WWDC
- Gaddafi’s son goes on hunger strike in Lebanon – lawyer
- Ghetto Kids lose out in Britain’s Got Talent final
- NDC must set new standards in governance when voted into power – Mahama
- Energy sector debt: Some contracts expensive, could have been avoided – Former VRA CEO
- School feeding programme: Caterers reject proposed increment to ¢1.20 per child
- Burna Boy makes history in London with sellout stadium show
- UEW staff write to Akufo-Addo to remove Governing Council Chair over abuse of office, appointment of VC